Joaquin’s mother, Arlyn (Heart) Phoenix, came to assist with the rescue too!
Joaquin Phoenix rescues mama and baby calf the day after his revolutionary Oscar speech! Jane UnChainedLIVETALK with Earthlings Producer/Director, Shaun Monson and Los Angeles Animal Save Organizer, Amy Jean Davis. Hear the inside story of this very special mother/baby rescue! Sometimes the stars align when a sequence of incredible events take place. Right after Joaquin Phoenix made that unforgettable Academy Award speech for Best Actor, the documentary filmmaker Shaun Monson, of Earthlings, learned a baby calf was born in a slaughterhouse. He notified Joaquin and Farm Sanctuary’s Gene Baur agreed to accept this mama cow and her newborn calf! They will now live out their lives in peace at Farm Sanctuary. Shaun directed and produced this 8-minute film which will warm your heart. At the end of this 8 min film, there is a photo of a calf with a handwritten inscription by the late River Phoenix which says, “Run to the rescue with love and peace will follow.” For those who didn’t hear Joaquin’s Academy Award speech, these were the words Joaquin spoke paying homage to his beloved brother. Please comment, ask questions, share this live stream!
The slaughterhouse owner, Anthony DiMaria, and Joaquin have a spirited debate over whether to say “harvested” when referring to the cows being slaughtered instead of “murdered.”
Joaquin Phoenix dropped everything fresh off of his Oscar win for Best Actor and went to a slaughterhouse to save the lives of two of the cows out of the billions he spoke about in his Oscar speech! Amy Jean Davis explains he had interviews and plenty of other events on his calendar that day but he canceled them all when presented with the opportunity to save these two lives. Amy explains that this is not the first time that they have been offered a momma and her daughter by the slaughterhouse’s owner, Anthony Di Maria. She says he has clear empathy for the mothers who give birth to their babies while awaiting their deaths.
One cow licks Joaquin’s hand as he bears witness to them.
Amy couldn’t help but notice the other cows in the holding pen nearby as they entered the property to rescue this calf and her mother. She explains that all of the cows in the pen are called “spent” dairy cows who have been used to produce milk for humans over and over until they are not profitable anymore. They are artificially inseminated by humans and their calves are taken away shortly after birth. If they are males they can be sent to slaughter soon after birth or killed by the farmers on-site. If they are female calves they are normally sequestered off to holding pens far away from their mothers and fed formula instead of their mother’s milk as they await their time to take their mother’s place. The cows Amy bore witness to were these cows discarded by the dairy industry. Amy describes their breasts as being painfully engorged with milk. Amy, who is a lactating mother, had her 15-month-old daughter, Phoenix, with her on this momentous day. It was hard for her to remain in good spirits as she saw a pen full of cows who would meet their deaths after lives full of anguish.
Joaquin carries the newborn calf to freedom.
As Amy approached the holding pen one of the cows walked over to greet her and Phoenix, and unexpectedly her utters began to spray milk. It was as if this cow understood Phoenix was a baby and she wanted to give her her milk. This broke Amy’s heart. This cow had nothing left but seemingly came to feed Amy’s baby. On this day Amy and this poor creature were one. They were both mothers, they both produced milk intended for their babies. The only difference is that the mother in the holding pen was not permitted to feed her child, and she would not leave this location alive. Amy and Phoenix would leave because they were born human animals, with the right to live freely fulfilling the sacred bond that happens when a mother feeds her child from her breast.
Gene gives Joaquin a hand as they load the calf onto the trailer headed to Farm Sanctuary.
For the mother cow and her baby that were rescued this day, it was a miraculous one! Joaquin, Rooney Mara, Gene, Heart Phoenix, Kathleen Rooney, Shaun Monson, Amy Jean Davis, Phoenix (Amy and Shaun’s daughter), Chef Nickie Mingarelli, Alessio Schiazza, and David Hauver descended upon the slaughterhouse on a mission to save this mother and her baby taking them to a beautiful life of freedom in the fields of Farm Sanctuary. All while Joaquin’s closest friend, Shaun Monson, filmed this incredible rescue capturing every bit of the emotion that day. If you have seen any of Shaun’s other films including the masterpiece that started it all, Earthlings, then you know you better grab a box of tissues because this mini-documentary is a tear-jerker too! Check out the amazing rescue below. It is incredibly moving to see this mother and her baby escape the clutches of an untimely death at the mercy of the slaughterhouse owner. We express our deepest gratitude to the good people who were willing to put their lives on pause to save them! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Have an amazing life little one! We can’t wait to see the day when all beings are granted the freedom to live, love, and be loved.
Watch Shaun Monson‘s 8-minute documentary showing this incredible rescue below!
Co-founder of the 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Animal Alliance Network activist group as part of the Save Movement. She helps organize weekly pig vigils outside of a slaughterhouse near Downtown Los Angeles. She hopes to help raise awareness in her community and around the world about the victims of animal agriculture.